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How to manage your risk with Web applications

(Polly Schneider Traylor, TechRepublic) Web apps continue to grow in popularity, but companies have legitimate concerns about security and reliability. Here are some ways to address potential risks and make sure you choose the right vendor.

Web-based software and services have proven to be a trend with staying power. Combine flexibility, relatively low maintenance and fees, and rich functionality and it’s easy to add up the benefits. Software as a service (SaaS), in particular, is playing out pretty well in today’s economy, according to IDC, which predicts the sector will see a 36 to 40 percent growth in 2009.

Yet many organizations, especially at the enterprise level, worry about offloading corporate data to a third-party vendor. Will security risks increase? What happens when reliability begins to suffer? How can they access critical data/systems during an outage? These are valid questions, but many experts actually think that your data is safest with a credible third-party whose business in effect is (or should be) managing the security and reliability of data across many customers. After all, if a vendor screws up, it will lose revenue, customers, and market share in a heartbeat.

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